Emotions are complex. They rarely come one at a time and they often blend to create complexity. Like colors, they can be mixed and matched to create new—or separated further apart, identified by their roots of origin. For example, anger and outrage can arise from the compassion one feels for another during a moment of hurt or repression. In turn, empowerment can stem from a unified feeling of helplessness. At times we experience a torrent of emotions all at once and even sometimes—we experience them all together. These collective moments can give rise to the beginnings of unity, or seal the divisions amongst us.
For this reason, it’s important to understand how the roots of emotions are intertwined. No matter who you are, what you believe, or what you’re standing up for—this is the moment to step into the emotional torrents that surround with inquiry, empathy, and compassion.
While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help. By asking one another about our beliefs, values, fears, and hopes—is how we grow individually, by bonding together. Right now, it’s not enough to only understand those that think and feel as we do. It takes the action of compassion for those that don’t, with a blind faith that they’ll return the favor, to ensure we grow better together.
Socially, we often mirror one another’s emotions. Anger meets anger, joy meets joy. It’s a powerful gift for either creating calm or growing discord. It’s you that makes the difference. On that accord, don’t be afraid to have the difficult conversations. Even when uncomfortable, put your trust in others by asking them to withhold belligerence and indifference, while you do the same, to move forward together. Exercise your compassion by releasing control of the emotions that guide your own views and beliefs. This allows space for the natural feelings to emerge from knowing another’s experience.
This level of bravery can open the types of conversations that allow for all perspectives while withholding preconceptions and biases. This is the root of collaboration that’s necessary for creating psychological safety. Something that we are all entitled to.
The content below is all about you. Curated based on your Prism Portrait, this is a tool for learning how to approach moments when you don’t know what to do.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
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